Thursday, April 02, 2015

Kayla's Foster Flight

Its been almost three years since our last Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue (MAESSR) flight.  Since Mary and I are both retired we decided to jump back into rescue flights.  The first email was for a transport to Kayla's new foster home in Goochland VA.  My pick up location was coordinated to meet up in Wilmington, Delaware (KILG).
Kayla is a 15 month old princess who rides well in a car, does the crate thing (not happy about it)and is happy on a tether too. The plan is for a 8am departure from Ocean City ,Maryland (KOXB) and meet at Aero Ways FBO at Wilmington around 9am.
A group of us were involved in pulling this transport together on such short notice. Carolyn, Eva and Joan all managed to coordinate the drop off, I'll I had to do was show up with the plane. Debbie met me at the plane in Hanover.
I decided not to pick up my clearance on the ground, instead, I would pick it up in the air with Dover Approach. The sky was gorgeous and other than providing arrival info at the FBO I really didn't need to file at all. It was a smooth ride at 5000, hands in my lap enjoying the view. I made it a point today to verbalize all my checks and each process or phase of flight. Philly approach dropped me down to 3000 and had me fly a right down wind for runway one niner, this seemed odd. Then as I was cruising by midfield still at 3000 I figured they forgot about me. Sure enough. I contacted Philly and asked if they would like me to cancel or were they going to hand me off.  The controller responded, ahhh...didn't I turn you over to the tower.  No sir, but I'll cancel in the air with you now.  He thanked me. 
Joan arrived at Aero Ways and we walked, no Kayla drug us out on the ramp.  This girl was in a hurry, right up until she got up to the plane then she locked up the brakes.  The line guys at Aero Ways were very helpful with getting the kennel in the plane, Thanks guys!!

I picked up my clearance with Wilmington ground and taxied out for departure.

C KOFP  Hanover
R RV to join V29 ENO V16 RIC Direct
A 2000/6000
F 119.75 (Philly)
T 11xx

Upon receiving my clearance for take off I was instructed fly runway heading climb 2000.  No problem I was rolling, Kayla was sitting in her kennel just staring at me as we climbed away from Wilmington. I was handed off to Philly and they gave me a vector or two then turned me direct ENO Smyrna.
NAS Patuxent River
I felt back in the saddle, it felt good. Hand offs to each sector flying south went smoothly.  I held course and altitude well and managed pictures along the way. It looked beautiful crossing the bay and seeing all the familiar landmarks. I broke out a Gatorade and some crackers for me, a dog biscuit for Kayla. She didn't want it or a piece of my Toast Chee cracker. I canceled with Potomac and made my way into OFP. As I descended through 3000 the winds really kicked in, it was an interesting ride to landing.

KOFP 021554Z AUTO 19011G22KT 10SM CLR 17/M01 A3027

Kayla was happy to be out of the kennel. She wanted to drag me into the FBO but halfway there Debbie met us.  Kayla was very excited to see her then I handed off the leash, the honeymoon was over.  All of a sudden the dog who just stared at me was now my best buddy, tail wagging and wanting to climb in my lap.  I helped Debbie with the kennel and after swapping out hugs I headed for home.

I was hoping the head winds I fought getting here were now going to help me home. After riding the bucking horse through 3000 I hit smooth air and watched the airspeed climb. As I climbed through 5000 I contacted Potomac Approach and requested flight following.  I gave my planned course, present position JAMIE SWL KOXB and en route altitude as 7500. Yes I said present position,  the controller said let me find you as he chuckled.  I quickly responded with xx miles north east of Richmond as I fought back laughing at myself. Approach advised radar contact and off we went.  What a brain fart, I thought it and it just came out as I was looking at the 'nearest' screen with the info.
The tail winds were great as I cruised along in the 125-130 range. Once handed off to Norfolk they gave me a short cut that would take me through R4006 and R6609.
The Norfolk controller changed his mind as I approached and gave me two vectors to keep me just on the fringe.  I guess it was a wash and it's always good practice.

KOXB 021653Z AUTO 21014G24KT 10SM CLR 13/01 A3027

I canceled flight following around twenty miles out and thanked him for his service today. I switched over to CTAF at OXB and listened to the jump plane taking off.  We stayed in contact and I entered the pattern as the 4 minutes to jumpers away rang out. I made another nice landing with gusty winds. A fun day with a real mission! Mary and I are looking forward to more rescue flights in our future.

Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Organization is a 501c3 stand alone organization that is not affiliated with any other rescue organization.  MAESSR is devoted to the rescue and placement of stray, abandoned, relinquished or impounded English Springer Spaniels.  Our Primary focus is on the Mid-Atlantic Region covering Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.


Jim and Sandie said...

I don't understand a lot of the flight stuff but I am really excited that you do such a wonderful thing as transporting those pups to their new homes. But I must tell you that my stomach got a little queasy when you talked about the rough weather. Great job.

Gary said...

Sandie, Thanks! It's a way to give back for all the fun, excitement and gray hairs our pets provide us.

I was so happy to hear Skittlez is feeling better. your two are so cute!

Victoria said...

Yay! Thanks for taking your time to give dogs like Kayla a second chance!

Steve said...

There are few flights quite as rewarding as the rescue ones. Great stuff - looks like you had an awesome experience!

Gary said...

Steve, This one was a bit different since I was on my own. I had to use a crate just to be safe. The poor little girl did not have a happy face and she sat there the whole flight, never really settled.

Steve said...

Yeah, I've never done one solo myself. Not great that she didn't enjoy the experience but at least you know she was much better off at her final destination.